We sometimes like to think of spaghetti squash as the gateway squash, a bridge between the tender zucchini and yellow crookneck squash of summer and the heartier winter squashes like butternut and acorn. While you can usually find spaghetti squashes in stores year-round, they are at their peak from early to late fall.
In this unusual take on a traditional Italian bruschetta, we toss the roasted squash with a simple blend of Spice Islands salt, pepper and crushed rosemary. Paired with creamy mozzarella (use fresh whole milk or buffalo mozzarella, if you can find it) and bright tomato, it’s easy to prepare and a perfectly impressive appetizer for your next gathering.
If you haven’t had spaghetti squash, its name will be obvious once you have: the flesh, once cooked, separates from the outer skin in delicate, spaghetti-like strands. In fact, it is often used as a spaghetti substitute (carb haters, take note) and goes great with any topping you’d normally put on spaghetti (like pesto, or butter and parmesan, for example). The flavor of the squash itself is very mild, so it tends to take on the flavors of the ingredients surrounding it.
Spaghetti Squash Bruschetta
- 1 smallish spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 3/4 teaspoonSpice Islands Crushed Rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Grind Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Medium Grind Black Pepper
- 2 medium tomatoes (about 3 ounces each), cored and diced
- 1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 French baguette, cut into 36 3/8-inch-thick slices and toasted
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise using a large, sharp knife. Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard.
- Line a baking sheet with foil, brush with olive oil. Brush cut sides of squash with more olive oil and lay cut-side down on baking sheet.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until outside is fork tender and cut edges are starting to brown. Remove from oven and carefully flip squash halves with tongs to cool.
- When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out the insides using a fork. The flesh will come away from the skin in spaghetti-like strands. Place squash in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Arrange toasted bread on a serving tray. Top each with a slice of mozzarella, a mound of spaghetti squash mixture, and a small spoonful of tomato. Serve at room temperature.